What do you know about integration?
To integrate: “verb [with object] 1 combine (one thing) with another so that they become a whole: transportation planning should be integrated with energy policy. • combine (two things) so that they become a whole: the problem of integrating the two approaches. • [no object] (of a thing) combine with another to form a whole: the stone will blend with the environment and integrate into the landscape”
Wow. Doesn’t that sound important? How often have you integrated new information on personal and spiritual development? How often have you heard healers, mentors or advisors speak on it? I’ve never heard anyone mention it.
When we introduce something new to our bodies, environments or minds we need to allow and effort to integrate the new ways/thoughts/ideas with what remains.
My husband and I are in the process of adopting a new dog. We have two already but there are many years between them and we thought the younger one would appreciate a playmate. When you bring a new dog into a family, you have to integrate it. You don’t just toss it in and hope for the best. The dynamics change and a new order must be established. You can expect fights, bites, growls and howls. You can expect at one time or another someone is going to be ready to call it quits (this might be you). You can expect that it will take time to do all these things.
The key is to keep your expectations low and your alert status high. Keep a watchful eye and nip any aggression in the bud. Redirect and allow for time out as necessary. Eventually things will fall into their own rhythm and peace will reign in your new expanded family.
The same is true for Rolfing (any energy healing too). If you’ve read my previous stuff you know I’ve been rolfing to attempt to relieve some physical symptoms I experience. Between sessions seven and eight she allows for integration. A period of time where no new sessions are done so that the body can catch up with the work that has been done and come to a new normal. A better normal. Thus the body integrates the new ways of operating.
During this time you can experience detoxing, aching, flu-like symptoms, fatigue, irritability and general discomfort. It might even get worse before it gets better (healing crisis). In short, you can expect fights, bites, growls and howls. You might even feel like calling it quits. Once your body adjusts and settles into the new commands your connective tissue is giving your muscles though, peace will reign in your new expanded body.
Our minds are no exception. When we discover new paradigms of thoughts/beliefs and introduce them into our lives we must allow for integration. Some old outdated thoughts/beliefs will be exchanged out simultaneously without issue. Still others will be forced out as the new set in. Still others will sort of fall off, without much mention, after the new has been allowed to integrate.
During this time you can experience irritability, discomfort, fear, anxiety and restlessness. You can expect fight, bites, growls and howls. You might even feel like calling it quits and just go back to the old paradigm. But once you introduce new paradigms it is hard to go back. Once you settle into the new rhythm, peace will reign in your new expanded mind. Then your Spirit will be joyous because your experience of it will be expanded as well.
Integration is likely the most important step of all -especially in personal/spiritual development- yet it is often overlooked. We live in an instant gratification society that leaves no room for integration. Today it is seek-find-ingest-move on. Where is the integration? It’s a little like shopping-purchasing-chewing-spitting out. Where is the digestion? What good is the food if you are not digesting it? None, that’s what.
Integration of personal and spiritual development information allows for movement, acceptance and expression of the new shift.
- Movement – allowance for the new balance to be established by the introduction of the new and replacement/reduction of the old.
- Acceptance – to allow the new to work in your life on purpose, not default.
- Expression – to practice this new way whenever possible – not to just ‘think it’ and retain old bad habits associated with the old (aka walk the talk).
Sit with it.
When you are introducing a new spiritual paradigm of thought, meditate on it. Sit in silence with it. Notice where it resonates (or doesn’t) in your body. What thoughts come up around it? What feelings come up around it? What emotions come up around it? Do you feel smaller or larger consciously because of it? Does it expand you?
Stand with it.
Challenge other related thoughts and beliefs you hold against the resonance of the new. When you’ve sat with something and decided that it does indeed resonate with you then weigh it against related beliefs that you’ve long just grown accustomed to. You might find that they too have outgrown their usefulness and will be replaced or just merely drop away. How does the new fit in with the old? Look for consistency and congruence. Something that is true will be true in all scenarios (with some exceptions, perhaps), so play devil’s advocate with yourself. Challenge yourself to think bigger with this new paradigm. See what else it shakes loose.
Walk with it.
Take it out for a spin around the block. Start conversations with others about it. If you don’t have any friends who get into this sort of thing there are many people on the internet exploring just these subjects (hint hint). Reach out. Conversations about such things are free. While asking for free advice on specific personal issues is not appropriate, opening up exploratory conversations is generally welcomed by all. Share your process, your conclusions and your expectations of what this new paradigm could do for you. Entertain whatever questions or doubts they might share with you. This is your chance to see if what you’re integrating has merit.
Then wear it.
Don’t be ashamed of your new shift. Wear it proudly. While it may be tempting to ‘shout it from the rooftops’ that can be obnoxious. So shout if you must, but expect you’ll turn a lot of people off. If that helps you integrate, then by all means don’t let putting people off deter you. I however, prefer to just wear it into a room. What that means is that I let the Universe determine when the information needs to be shared. When a subject comes up that relates to my belief I share it. I do it in the best possible way for it to be heard. Sharing things in certain ways will guarantee rejection before that other person really even hears it. Wording things in a non-threatening manner allows for the maximum amount of people to hear it and expand with it.
That’s integration – in a nutshell.
Questions? Start a conversation with me at firstname.lastname@example.org or in my too quiet facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/willowsongfirekeepers/
And as always remember…
I love you.